Traverse City Workshop Focuses on Cybersecurity as High-Demand Career

Try to imagine an industry with zero unemployment—plus a demand for millions of new hires.

That career is cyber security.

Some Traverse City companies are hoping to connect with new hires and you might become one of them.

Shaun Bertrand is the Senior VP of Security Programs at CBI.

“The opportunity is there, certainly. The challenge is finding things that are aligned with people’s passion,” Bertrand says.20 Fathoms

They’re calling it tccyber, a new program hosted by 20Fathoms, a tech hub for startups and other growing industries. Tccyber aims to plug in to the education and support needed for all levels of cyber security professionals.

Keith Kelly is the program manager for Workforce Development with 20Fathoms.

Kelly says they are “Bringing some high end professionals and let them talk about what it’s like to be in the job, in the profession, what the opportunities are, and how to get there.”

Cyber security is a red hot career. Millions of unfilled positions are anticipated as early as next year. Tccyber says that shows the importance of workforce development programs, especially with higher than usual unemployment rates.

Bertrand says, “There’s no doubt cyber security is in demand. There’s an estimation that there’s going to be 3 million vacant jobs just in 2021.”

Cyber Cybersecurity Computer It20Fathoms wants to help more people get into the field. That’s why, along with tccyber, they’re hosting virtual introductory workshops, training, career guidance, and mentorships. It’s supported by a grant from Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

Kelly says, “The state is really interested in what they’re calling ‘talent pipelines.’ So they want to create pathways for high-demand, high-wage careers.”

Kelly is behind the virtual program, and has a vision to “develop a community of tech professionals in Northern Michigan and support them through ongoing education, professional development, and networking.”

He says, “Certainly we’re looking at people that might want to join the profession. Might be a high school student, could be a community college student currently working an IT program, could be someone just looking to pivot their career.”

As a cyber security pro, Bertrand is also eager to bring new talent into the field and help them find success in the industry.

“I think a lot of people think that cyber security is a great thing to want to get into, because it’s a lucrative opportunity…they also really don’t know what it is they want to get into. The problem with it is that it’s a very intimidating and challenging industry to get into if you’re just starting out,” Bertrand says.Cybersecurity Online Tech Computer

Kelly says these jobs could be based in Northern Michigan or anywhere in the world.

“There’s certainly a demand locally for those software developers and cyber security professionals. But as we’re seeing in Traverse City, virtual employers are everywhere.  So you can live anywhere now, so why not live in Traverse City and take on one of those high-career, high-wage jobs?”

Bertrand agrees the possibilities are wide-reaching.

“I think our initial opportunity is in the local community but we certainly want to expand that footprint a little bit further based on that demand.”

Their first event will be held Sept. 10 and it’s free to sign up. To learn more about tccyber, click here. For information on the upcoming virtual workshop, click here.